Why You Need To Start Arguing In Front Of The Kids (Says Science)

parents arguing in front of kid
Love, Heartbreak

It may seem strange, but a new study says kids are reaping the benefits of observation.

If you're a parent and live by the code, "No fighting in front of the children," then it's high time you change that attitude and just go for it. It may not seem like it, but losing your cool and getting into an argument in front of your kids is actually totally fine; in fact, it's good for them. Now you can let all those disagreements that are bound to happen over dinner this upcoming holiday season out into the open—your kids will be better for it.

A new study has found that children who witness verbal aggression are far better equipped to deal with conflict later on in life. Not only that but, according to scientists, it's in watching the verbal disagreements of others, that people, children especially, are able to release their own tensions and it makes for better communicators in the long run.

Scientists examined the stress hormones in the saliva of 50 couples and asked them about the source of verbal arguments in their home. They found that those who had witnessed their parents going head-to-head about touchy subjects when they were children experienced lower levels of stress when discussing those recollections.

As lead researcher, Dr. Lindsey Aloia of Rollins College in Florida explains, "Given the diversity of outcomes associated with interpersonal conflict, efforts to understand variation in the experienced negativity of conflict experiences are extremely important in helping people navigate these interactions."

In other words, those experiences in your youth will make you a more communicative and strong person, in regards to expressing emotions and discontent. 

Of course, this doesn't mean that downright brawls in front of your children are a good idea, but healthy arguments and disagreements will make for children who can accept and deal with tension and stress far easier.

These new findings push aside older research that suggested that those who came from an argumentative family would, eventually, find themselves in the same situation and, because of that family history, were more like to suffer from depression, distress, and anxiety. Considering how often couples argue and the amount of time in which they forget to take it into the other room, away from the kids, this is great news.

Takeaway? Expressing emotion is important and healthy. Putting it all out there and laying your cards on the table is necessary not just for those doing the arguing, but the ones witnessing it, too.

It might seem a little strange, but it makes sense that from witnessing aggression people are able to find their personal ways to communicate their anger and relieve their own stress—basically, they're reaping the benefits of observation.

So, go ahead and yell, or, at the very least, don't be scared to raise your voice and express your side of the disagreement in front of Suzy and Bobby. Suzy and Bobby will thank you for it later.


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